News & insights

The Power of an Employee-Centric Culture at SF Recruitment

By Hannah Mills
Employee experience awards

SF Recruitment, an award-winning specialist recruiter, has supported businesses with recruitment services since 1998. The company achieved transformational business results due to changes in its employee experience introduced in 2020.

At the UK Employee Experience Awards 2023, SF Recruitment won four awards for its exceptional efforts to enhance employee happiness and satisfaction. During its 25 years in business, SF Recruitment has placed more than 50,000 candidates and worked with 14,000 satisfied clients across the Midlands and Northern England.

Like thousands of businesses in the UK and around the world, SF Recruitment undertook a significant transformation of its operations in 2020. After Saira Demmer assumed the role of CEO, she and the team of directors created ‘The SF Experience©’, an initiative that places employees at the heart of everything the company does. This initiative involved surveying employees for feedback and overhauling company culture, with the aim of fostering an entrepreneurial spirit to help drive innovation and creativity.

SF Recruitment committed £1.2 million to this three-year company culture transformation. The directors knew the changes had to be modelled from the top down for employees to feel trusted in their new autonomous way of working. In addition to enabling employees to work whenever and wherever, the company emphasises celebrating employee success and sharing milestones both internally and on its LinkedIn page.

SF Recruitment took employee recognition a step further in 2023 by entering the UK Employee Experience Awards and winning an impressive four awards, including the overall Gold award. Take a look at what the judges said about SF Recruitment’s exceptional initiative in the employee-centric company category:

“An extremely compelling presentation in which Saira and the team demonstrated passion and pride in the exceptional results your organisation has achieved in a short space of time. It was a shining example of a truly employee-centric company, that stemmed from the business strategy of putting employees at the heart, and threaded this through every decision made from reward, diversity, talent strategy and impact on your clients and the services you provide to drive growth. The company showed itself to be progressive, not shy in facing up to a tough culture transformation and making a difference – a boys’ club mentality of work hard, play hard; also making a stand for creating happiness for all your employees, both professionally and personally. Overall, this could be a blueprint on how to make a recruitment business, delivering people-centric values to their customers.”

When it comes to numbers, the initiative helped SF Recruitment achieve all of its objectives. Most importantly, employee engagement scores were at an all-time high: 95% of employees said they were happy with their work-life balance, while employee attrition dropped from 46% to only 14%. Stories like this effectively demonstrate how investing in employees pays off tenfold; happy employees are 20% more likely to outperform.

Recognising employee success is not just a gesture; it’s a key element that fuels motivation, fosters a positive work environment, and ultimately contributes to the overall success of the organisation.

If you'd like to find out more about careers at SF Recruitment you can visit our careers website here:

Hannah Mills
Hannah Mills
Head of Talent – SF Recruitment